The Domestic Violence Coalition met for the first time since 2020 to host a conference at the USU Eastern Jennifer Leavitt Student Center on March 9.
To begin the conference, an awards presentation was hosted for members of the various local law enforcement agencies that have addressed domestic violence incidents. The time was turned over to the Carbon County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) and the Price City Police Department (PCPD) to begin.
First off, Frankie Tapia, Colton Greener, Sean Draper, Wally Hendricks and Travis Henrie were invited to the stage along with Brandon Ratcliffe, who was presenting. TJ Robertson also joined the group to accept the recognition on behalf Officer Perry.
It was then explained that on July 23, 2021, there was a sexual and physical abuse incident between a child and her father. Beforehand, the child had called the father’s ex-girlfriend, who decided to intervene but lived two hours away. The ex-girlfriend brought her current partner and their infant child for the drive.
Officers that were dispatched to the scene were warned of what could happen, as the man had a firearm. He exited his home with a shotgun and started questioning the ex while she was on the phone with dispatch. The defendant pointed the shotgun at the ex’s boyfriend and made threatening remarks. Following, four officers started running toward the scene, reporting what they believed was shots fired.
While there were not shots fired, the defendant had broke out the back window of the vehicle to get a better view of the boyfriend, who was attempting to shield the infant child. Working diligently and calmly, the officers were able to get the child out of the home and to safety, while the ex was able to flee with her family.
It was 18 months before there was a resolution to the case. Detectives Hendricks and Henrie put their program to the test, according to Ratcliffe, to provide time, resources and expertise. There were 12 charges that resulted and the defendant was detained to the Utah State Prison.
Ratcliffe stated that this case demonstrated the epitome of teamwork and what can be done while working together. He said that the officers deserved to be recognized for their selflessness and dedication to the community.
Another recognition came for a domestic violence complaint that was responded to by Deputy Mike Hrienson and Officer Brayden Liechty. In this case, the suspect was armed with a pistol and was suicidal. Upon arrival, contact was made with the subject that was in crisis.
It was stated that Deputy Hrienson never hesitated as it was known that there was a female subject that was locked in a bedroom within the residence. Though a scuffle ensued, the officers were able to regain control and place the male subject in cuffs. A loaded handgun was located in the suspect’s jacket, within the suspect’s reach.
Due to action and quick thinking, the situation was diffused. It was said that incidents such as this happen on a regular basis in the county and do not always end as well as this one did. It was stated that domestic violence situations are the worst cases that those in law enforcement have to respond to.
Finally, Deputy Sawyer Leonard was recognized in yet another incident. In August 2022, a DV call was dispatched. A female victim informed dispatch that her husband had attempted to run her off the road and there had been an argument over the phone.
As the female continued to speak with 911, officers arrived on the scene. It was stated that the male had also attempted to grab the woman’s keys from her. The woman in question was in distress and Deputy Leonard made sure that she did not need medical attention. The law enforcement members were also able to find the suspect and obtain his side of the story.
Praise was plentiful for the officers that responded to the aforementioned situations, as well as many others throughout the community.